To see a humpback whale up close; all that power and grace as it jumps out of the water is an unforgettable experience.
From June to September, the coast of Ecuador offeres some of the best whale watching experiences in Soouth America.
The story of why the humpback whales are there in the first place is just as amazing.
From their feeding frounds in the Antarctic, these amazing whales travel the 6, 000 miles to the warmer, shallow waters of the Bahia Cantagallo on the coast of Ecuador.
Why? Well, the shallow waters make a safer place for breeding and, around 11 months later, for the fragile baby whales to be born.
This is a beautiful pattern of migration and breeding which continues throughout the whales’ 60 year lifespan; every 2 years or so they eat up and make the long journey to balmy Ecuador to procreate.
In the months of July-August in particular, visitors have an excellent chance of seeing these whales up close on a whale watching tour from Puerto Lopez.
Humpback whales are friendly, curious creatures who are known to follow alongside boats checking out you as much as you are observing them. You are likely to see lot sof ‘tail lobbing’; raising flukes (tails) and slapping them on the surface of the water. Humpback whales are also very acrobatic and throw themselves completely out of the water with abandon.
In Bahia Cantagallo, you might have as many as 10 males all trying to attract the attention of just one female; so showing off and jumping are virtually guaranteed.
A great way to see these whales following alongside your boat is as part of a trip to Isla del Plata. Know as ‘The Por Man’s Galapagos Islands’, this protected island shows many of the characteristics of its more famous cousins. Isla de la Plata is the home of blue-footed and masked boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, giant albatross and breeding turtels.